No, I don’t “chiong”. But I would really love to invite you to an exclusive World AIDS Day Singapore event that is happening on 5th December 2009 at the Supperclub Singapore. Actually I don’t really know where it is or how it is like, but I think it’s perhaps some cool place where people gather and chat and eat .

As with all other 1,236,309 contests there are, there’s always a “deadline” and a “quiz”. So, here’s the deal. I’d need you to tell me if you would use this (and why, if possible):

Go on and click on it 🙂 Of course, watch your back first… It’s not NSFW, but still…

You can either comment in this post, or click here if you do not wish to let others know what your answer is 😉 And how long more will this giveaway last? Well, it’s about this number of days more:

Which is actually the number of days left to World AIDS Day! So, do send in your answers quick so that I can give away all 5 pairs of tickets to an awesome event to commemorate World AIDS Day, to be aware of what HIV/AIDS is and to to support people living with HIV.

Is a cure for AIDS a good thing? Someone asked recently.

It almost seems like a rhetoric question and that as long as no cure or vaccine has been found, it will always be a feared disease. Whenever the topic of HIV/AIDS is brought up, it’s often hushed away because most people think that it is a taboo and should not even be discussed in the open. Sadly, that’s how misconceptions are formed and this begets fear which in turn begets discrimination.

So, what really is HIV? And what is AIDS?

Most people have a tendency to think that HIV = AIDS. This can’t be further from the truth. In layman’s term, HIV, which stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus, is the particle that gets transmitted into your body typically through direct open (wound) contact with blood of an infected person. This means HIV can be transmitted through the sharing of needles, direct transfusion of blood from an infected person, or through sexual contact, which sometimes result in minute tissue tears which becomes the entrance for the viral particles.

AIDS, on the other hand, is the consequence where the person’s immune system gets compromised and is unable to defend the body of other infections. HIV, which affects the immunity of the infected person, often results in AIDS, but it is possible that an HIV-infected person may never get full-blown AIDS if he keeps his body in check. Therefore, it can still be possible for an HIV-infected person to still lead a normal life like everyone else.

While reported cases of AIDS or HIV infection arose from sexual contact, there are also various means of acquiring the disease, such as through open wound contact with blood of an infected person. Although there had been very little reports on incidences of HIV due to the latter, this can be a very real risk in countries where the level of hygiene isn’t very high. As a result, people end up getting HIV infection through reuse or sharing of needles, which is not just limited to drug abusers, but also to patients who had to receive blood transfusion. This is indeed very sad.

While there is very little that we can do to change the perception of others, we can take a first step by understanding the causes and spread of HIV ourselves. So with this, I am going to burst the first myth of the day (which was in part made popular because of the recent Section 377A brouhaha):

HIV and AIDS affects only gay men and drug users

The truth is, it affects everyone, including you and me; which means that anyone can get HIV as long as any of their sexual partners have HIV. Sadly, many people still throw caution in the air when faced with temptations; thinking that “it can never happen to me since I have never struck 4D or Toto* in my life”.

Thankfully, some people are working towards the spread of such awareness that we are ultimately responsible for our lives. At the same time, there’s also been more spread of love (and forgiveness) towards people who have unfortunately acquired the disease.

This year’s theme is hence aptly named “Your life, your canvas”. If you would like to show your support for this cause, please join in the Twibbon Campaign and add a red ribbon to your Twitter Pic 🙂 And oh, when you support the campaign, do click on “Allow” instead of pressing the [ENTER] key because the default is “Deny” 🙁

Argh. The ribbon is choking me… *cough cough*

Kidding. But seriously, please, do show your support for the campaign, because it’s not only about showing your commitment to awareness, but also showing your support for people who have unfortunately acquired the disease and for them to move on bravely.

And meanwhile… have I told you what we have installed for commemorating World AIDS Day in Singapore? More coming up after the break… 🙂

This is a pro bono article for the awareness of AIDS, which is supported by the Health Promotion Board. Go on and show your support by just adding that cute little twittibon on your profile pic! 🙂

* 4D and Toto are lotteries that are conducted by the Singapore Pools on a twice/thrice weekly basis respectively

I am not sure why the supposed “ad” didn’t load, but hey, don’t tell me this is going to be a new series of “click-the-next-10-ads-before-we-let-you-get-your-daily-dose-of-news”.

It might just backfire and I will never have to click another ad. Ever. Again.

I thought I’d just purchase a single OPC just to try out the system and be familiar with it. It turned out to be a little tougher than I expected. Actually, locating the link to purchase the OPC e-coupon was a little bit of a hassle. Googling for “opc e-coupon” resulted in some forum links that spoke of how drivers can now be additionally “owned” if they think that no one is spying on them from a distance. There was even a pseudo-advertisement for recruitment of people to “catch” off-peak cars not paying for the e-coupon:


catch as many off-peak cars not paying for the e-coupon and get $50 for every car caught

requirements: good eyesight in fast changing environment, must be able to see the colour red and be able to “not appear like someone who is noting down number plate”

Oops! Sorry, I digressed. So, yes, I tried searching for links to purchase the OPC e-coupon and after a long, long while, I finally found the link. Embedded in a collapsed side-bar. Well, I was thinking that, for such an important (how important? probably worth S$10,000) link, it should at least be made readily clickable on the main page, even if they don’t want to make a huge banner for it. To be fair, they did make a banner for mobilep@y, but it’s of little consolation if I didn’t have my mobile phone with me. Or maybe I am just blind.

So, eventually I found the link, which was embedded under LTA e-Services; under the section of “Maintain A Vehicle”. Sure, it was classified correctly and most people would have lamented that I am just being lazy. Well, one thing I am sure, my dad will probably be calling me up when he realises that there’s “no link” for him to click on when all the only URL that was given to purchase the e-coupon is “”.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t the end of the entire debacle. LTA apparently asks for quite a fair bit of information (which I figure was probably for “security purposes”), and comparing this to the past when I could conveniently ask someone who happens to be going to the post office to help me get a paper coupon from SingPost, I now can’t ask someone to help me with the purchase of an e-coupon without giving him or her the full glory of my details should I, for some reasons, forget to get an e-coupon (e.g. rushing to the airport and realised that I forgot to purchase an e-coupon – only thing is probably that I am on my way on a 26-hour journey to New York and there’s no guarantee of Internet access at a stopover airport).

What I do appreciate, however, was that the entire process of purchasing the e-coupon, up to the point of payment, allowed me to change my mind and cancel the transaction, without fumbling and worrying it it had somehow magically deducted from my account without me know. Yes, some people may think this is funny, but many of the older folks, who have their income tax “deducted magically” from their accounts, or have “government surpluses” depositing back into the same account, will probably think that somehow, LTA can get hold of their $20 even if they are just half-way into the transaction. Moreover, I also believe that when I grow too old to catch up with technology, I will live with the delusion that I am constantly monitored 24/7… but that’s another story for another day.

Now, if you have not realised by now, payment for the OPC e-coupon can only be done if you have Internet banking services with either DBS, UOB or Citibank (TGFC!). Following the instructions, you can click on “Confirm Payment” and hope to pay for it smoothly; which was what I did. However, lo and behold, I was greeted with a new blank window, and a Citibank page that took some time to load, but stated “Please Proceed With Your Transactions”. The words weren’t clickable, so it would not bring me to another page to “proceed with my transactions”, nor where there other links and windows opened.

So, this sort of ended my experience with purchasing OPC e-coupon for my OPC. In the end, I called a cab, which I thought would be safer, since I am not sure that even if the transaction did apparently went through, would there have been another “Confirm” or “Proceed” button that I would have missed.

At the end of the day, I am suspecting that the use of Mac Safari must have had something to do with it. Apparently, one of the pages gave some information about added “Allowed Sites” into Internet Explorer; and while the one.motoring website mentioned that the pages are “best viewed with Internet Explorer”, it should really be “Can only be used with Internet Explorer”.

Today marks a special day. Today is the day that the authorities have heard you. Today is the day that they understand how much trouble you have to go through to get hold of those coupons. Today is also the day that they relieve you of the problem of having to fumble with the coupons and not being able to drive out without them…

Today is the first day of OPC e-coupon. So, do remember to get your e-coupons at after you have used your OPC. And oh, if you have been getting around places in town, “catching” you can be as easy as…

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In the past, the topic of plastic surgery has always been spoken in secret because it had not been well received. One of the not too recent debacle of an instance of this topic was when people started speculating if Dawn Yang has had plastic surgery when some rather malicious guy posted pictures of her in her JC times, depicting her as an ugly duckling, or at least tried very hard to.

Some people are of the view that a person should just admit that they have undergone plastic surgery, while others thing that it’s sometime that should not be done at all (and I will leave the moral ethics of it for another post). However, what is unchangeable is that plastic surgery has been getting popular locally, especially those with minimal downtime.

Of course, the mere mention of plastic surgery and everyone will think of having bruises on their heads or worrying that their nose might drop off in a botched job. However, most people have it much easier nowadays.

I had the opportunity to speak to representatives from The Sloane Clinic, Q-MED and Navi Plastic Surgery Clinic in Seoul. The Sloane Clinic had just had its 4th branch opened at Novena Medical Centre and is working hand-in-hand with Q-MED, which was promoting Restylane – a non-animal-based filler that is assimilated with the body’s natural cells and collagen; while Dr. Moon Hyoung-Jin is in town to give his experience of using Restylane on his patients.

Restylane is this jelly-looking clear substance that acts as a filler – a collagen substitute, that could maintain its massaged form for up to 24 months after it has been administered. The good thing about it is that it is not animal-based and apparently helps to simulate growth of collagen, which declines after we get older. Also, there are different “grades” of Restylane that could be used, depending on the problem area.

The Sloane Clinic sounded rather familiar to me, even though I couldn’t recall how or when I came across the name. What was impressive though, was the layout and the skills of the doctor when a live demo was given during the visit.

The doctor used Restylane, the filler that could maintain its form up to 24 months after it is administered. Nonetheless, while the doctor was administering Restylane on the patient, most of the people in the room cringed while the doctor injected almost effortlessly and the patient looked as if she was never in pain. Me, being the doctor-to-be wannabe, just continued taking photos of the entire process. 😛

Following the demonstration, I had a chance to speak to Dr. Moon, who is based in Seoul, but travels to Shenzhen about twice a month to manage his clinic over there. Speaking of which, if you ever get to go to South Korea, you should take some time to observe the ladies (and perhaps gentlemen) around you. Most of them look terrific, and it’s of little wonder because there is probably a strong emphasis of looking good in a country that is so highly competitive. Anyway, Dr. Moon commented that most people like to go for aesthetic procedures that are less permanent nowadays because there is apparently a trend that is happening. So, while having a “high” nose may be the in-thing this year, it could be having a plumper lower lip the following year. Having said that, most people will not mind going for something that lasts for only 2 years and “renewing” it every other year following that. Most importantly, he mentioned, is the fact that the use of fillers, like Restylane, reduces downtime to as little as a few hours over lunch time, or up to 5 days should bruising occur. I guess that’s how “lunch-time procedure” gets its name from.

While I didn’t get the opportunity to take “before” and “after” photos, I have in my hands some photos provided by the clinic. Various aspects of the person’s face was given, but the results were so obvious that by just looking at the person upfront, you can probably tell the difference:


The photo on the left is the “before” photo, which shows the person having sunken cheeks and “eye bags”. The photo on the right, which is the “after” photo, shows a more oval face with a sharper chin and fuller cheeks. In fact, the jawline probably looks rounder and better after the procedure. From the other perspectives, the person probably had fillers on her cheeks and “eye bags”, which gives her a rejuvenated look.

Of course, the girl looks best when she’s smiling 😉 Don’t you think she looks like Cyndi Wang? Hmm…

Certainly, I am not advocating that everyone should start looking into the mirror to see what they can “patch up”. Just as Dr. Low Chai Ling of The Sloane Clinic had mentioned, not everyone has the same needs, just like how everyone is different. Some may be suitable for such a short and simple procedure, while others may need a different approach to achieve what they desire. Of course, there will be the occasional few who are born with it. Such lucky people!

Nonetheless, it’s important that everyone should be happy with how they look. Of course, if they are unhappy with their looks, then it is probably important that they should seek professional advice. Plastic surgeons and dermatologists, just like any other doctors, are guided by code of ethics and as long as they confide in their doctors their problems, these should and can be solved. The editors attended the event under the invitation of OMY.SG. No monetary compensation was received, though the editors were given a nice (but rather tough) sandwich dinner and door gifts of mirrors. And no, Simply Jean does not advocate going for plastic surgery and thinks that anyone thinking of doing so should seek at least a second opinion. If this doesn’t make sense to you, think of Michael Jackson, whose songs I really like, by the way.

Happy birthday to me!!! :)

Personal November 13th, 2009

Even though it’s just the last few hours… well, actually it depends on which time zone you follow 😉

Heh heh. Every year, the day just passes by like any other day. Oh well. I was hoping for a hundred wishes. Seems like I won’t get it this year 🙁

Anyway, happy birthday to me 🙂

Yes, it was related to the IELTS that I had taken recently. You know? It’s sometimes better to be really serious about what you do, especially if *it’s got to do with your exams*? Well, this was what happened…

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It rained and stormed over Saturday (and hence hindering my Halloween plans), but it didn’t stop the INQ event from going on…

… well, because it was held indoors 😛 Seriously, I thought it would be held outside, under the huge tent where it’s really hot and humid in the day. As it turns out, there was an event there about breasts. Breast cancer to be exact.

Anyway, I was down at Plaza Singapura and caught the event there. They invited people from the crowd to participate in games and most of them (if not all) walked away with great prizes! And it was just a simple memory game where they had to piece a picture together – very much like a jigsaw puzzle with a twist.

However, I didn’t get to catch the stars who were supposed to be there in the evening. Sigh.

So, did you manage to go down and catch the event? Yeah, the contest games were open for everyone and even though they were distributing pamphlets, it was nothing like the one that was given out here last week.

And if you missed it, but still want to get one, have no worries! Because…


Click on it to print out the full-size voucher

Tada! The promotions have been extended. Now, you do not even have to go down to the event location because this can be redeemed at all Hello! Singtel shops!

So yeah, don’t miss the fantastic opportunity to get your hands on one of the most connected (and in my opinion, value for money) phones; especially if you are a techie like me.

But you have to hurry soon though, cos the promotion ends 30 November 2009 🙂 And oh, do send me a tweet/plurk when you get yours!

Actually, there’s only one new stuff that has happened. If you had noticed, the blog is hosted on Well, actually the root (which is has been in “alpha” state for quite a while. And there had been happenings on “other parts” of the website.

So today, it will move out of “alpha” state and probably be in “beta” state for a while. Don’t know what I mean? Jump on to to find out! Heh heh… it’s nothing much, but I thought it will be good to bring things together. Namely:

1. Added the other social media bits
2. Added in the link to the almost defunct photo gallery that had been running for a while
3. Allow subscription by email

Well, yes, that’s about it for now; and I can only do this because I was “accidentally free”. Erm, long story, but you can check out my other social media bits and you’ll probably see why 😛